The burden of Obamacare is hitting the program’s poorest recipients with a $531 tax bill by the IRS that cuts into their returns by 17 percent, according to a study conducted by H&R Block. In the study, Americans making 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level qualify for a tax credit to purchase health insurance. But, in the end, 52 percent will actually owe the IRS money. The study also found that the average individual mandate penalty is $172 (via ATR):
The majority (52 percent) of Obamacare enrollees receiving an advance premium tax credit to purchase Obamacare insurance is facing the prospect of paying back $530 of that tax credit to the IRS, according to a new study from H&R Block. This clawback is reducing the refunds for these taxpayers by 17 percent this filing season.
Under Obamacare, taxpayers earning between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible to receive a tax credit to help purchase insurance on Obamacare exchanges. This tax credit is calculated using old tax data of the recipients. The credit is advanced ahead of time to the taxpayer’s insurance company. The taxpayer must reconcile at tax time the advance credit received with the actual credit she is eligible for.
Families of four earning less than $97,000 are eligible for a credit. So is a single mother with two children earning less than $80,000 and an unmarried/childless taxpayer earning less than about $12,000. By definition, these are the lowest income recipients of Obamacare health insurance outside the Medicaid-eligible population.
According to the study, a majority of credit recipients–52 percent–have had to pay back the IRS an average of $530, reducing their refunds by an average of 17 percent.
As Katie and Guy have reported, the government sending the wrong tax information is highly embarrassing; the individual mandate penalty (taxes, really) is set for a huge increase this year; and the issues with subsidies and the Medicaid expansion in California are just more stories to be added in the annals of this messy rollout.
Now, I don’t know if readers here know how it works for poor people and their tax returns. Sure, most get an EIC payment. But, those who make just enough more to not get an EIC payment, or, a minimal one, they count on the tax returns.
It goes like this. ……. they know they don’t make very much and live paycheck to paycheck. Typically, they figure out that they need to claim less on their check withholdings than they do on their taxes. In this manner, they’ll get something back during tax season, rather than having to pay in money they don’t have. For these people, $530 is a huge amount. Yes, the article’s quoted $97,000 earners won’t care so much. But, the $25,000 single earner married couple with no children will. In fact, it will devastate them.
It will take from them what they counted on all year. They will be faced with a dilemma as to whether or not they can afford a raise! Worse, there’ll be no one there to tell them how much a raise will cost them! In fact, a 25 cent/hour raise is just under the $530 average the IRS is taking back.
This is a horrible thing we’ve done to our poor people. But, again, it’s exactly as we said it was going to be.
Interesting note! In my search for the above pic which is now too pixilated …. I searched Bing for “Zerocare”! I found these pics!